Mom Diaries

Sharing my mom thoughts and honest stories, no subject is off-limits!

Okay, so before I begin to talk about anything, I need to get this out of my system. But HOLY CRAP, how insane is life right now? SO much has happened since my last post that I feel like I don't even know where to begin.

Maybe we should start before all this crazy even began...

Pre-Quarantine Life

So I learned about COVID-19 in the early days of January. Can't quite pinpoint the exact date, but it wasn't making headlines just yet here in the U.S. And, while I knew it was something serious, I also thought that it would be contained before it even reached American soil. Yeah, I'll admit, I was a bit naive to think that, but I mean we were able to keep other diseases like Ebola and SARS at bay... so naturally, I felt the same about COVID-19. Which is why I went ahead and booked our flights to Hawaii for Ella's Spring Break vacation.

At the end of January, we learned that we were evacuating American citizens out of China because of the outbreak. And when they decided to fly them into Ontario Airport and later re-routing them to March Air Force Base, I became a little more concerned. Because, if you know me, I can be a bit of a hypochondriac and a germaphobe. I take every precaution I can to prevent us from catching the Flu so yes, I was a little scared in what little we knew about this virus. But still, I had faith that our government knew what they were doing so I did my best not to panic.

A lot of people went into panic mode. While others downplayed the seriousness of the situation. I started to have thoughts of postponing our trip, but felt some reassurance that maybe we didn't need to since all flights from China was being closely monitored and people were being screened and quarantined. Everything seemed to be under control. So I did what I could to prepare for our flight. I went looking for extra hand sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer to last us our trip. By this time, people were already panic-buying, because it took a couple of stores to find what I needed. I also noticed all the toilet paper shelves emptying out (seriously, what is up with that?!). Thinking back, I probably should have bought at least one mega-pack of TP, but honestly, I didn't think it would get this bad.

Anyway, if you've been following my Instagram posts, then you already know we did end up going to Hawaii. But a lot of thought went into our decision to finally go, even after we learned of the first confirmed death of COVID-19. We were extremely careful and vigilant at the airport, on our flight (yup, totally wiped down every single thing with sanitizing wipes) and even when out sightseeing, we kept social distancing in mind before it was enforced.

We watched the news of our nation unfold every single day we were in Hawaii and watched how rapidly this virus spread. While Hawaii was probably a week and a half behind California, we couldn't help but feel the fear of uncertainty along with the rest of the world. A lot of people told us to stay in Hawaii, and while it was nice to be with my family back home, we also felt that it would be best to ride this thing out in our own home, and in our own beds. Because who knew when we'd be able to do just that if the nation started locking down.

We did our best to enjoy our vacation and visited with my family as much as possible. Then on March 18th, we made our trip home. Realizing so much has changed in the 2 weeks since we left California. On our flight back to Cali, more people including the flight attendants were wearing masks than our flight to Hawaii. You could just feel the tension, the worry, the fear. I, myself, was anxious the entire flight, hoping and praying that our decision to fly was the right one and that we weren't exposed to the virus. It didn't help when we saw on the news 4 days later that a few employees of the airlines we flew tested positive for COVID-19. When we learned that we could have been exposed to COVID-19, we immediately contacted our doctor to see if we could get tested. They informed us that because we were asymptomatic, we could not get tested. So we were left to self-quarantine and self-monitor for 2 weeks.

Which brings us to the now...

Quarantine Life

The uncertainty and waiting to see if we developed symptoms is brutal, you guys. Every cough, every sneeze, every tingle or scratch in my throat... I couldn't help but wonder "is this it?" It just sucked. Today marks 14 days of quarantine for us and I am grateful to be healthy. It's been exactly 2 weeks since we flew home from Hawaii and almost 2 weeks since Governor Newsom ordered all of California to shelter-in-place. Life has changed so drastically in the month of March that my head is still reeling from it all. So bear with me as I try to write out my thoughts in a way that makes sense to you... because my thoughts are pretty jumbled up right now that sometimes I can't think straight.

Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that this would be our new reality. But here we are. Stuck at home for who knows how long and only allowed to leave home for essential things like groceries and all other necessities. I have to admit, the staying home part is not so bad... I can totally be a homebody. As long as we can still get outside for some fresh air and be able to take walks and ride bikes & scooters, it's all good. My girls and I are easily entertained. But the not being able to go to Target just to go to Target SUCKS. The part about wearing masks when going to the grocery store to grab the essentials SUCKS. Not being able to celebrate birthdays and holidays (like Easter) with family and friends totally SUCKS. And not being able to go to the gym to workout... that one SUCKS royally. Because THAT was my ME time. And y'all know how important self-care is for us mamas!!!

Here's a list of how adjusting to this new reality is going for us:

1. I have definitely amped up my germaphobe habits, that’s for sure. Pre-COVID days, I was that mom that carried hand sanitizer in the car and in every bag I own, I was washing hands (mine and my girls') religiously, spraying lysol disinfectant almost daily - all of it, that was me. But now, I feel like I'm doing it all 10x more. I've also been disinfecting everything thing we buy from the store (groceries and stuff) as well as packages & mail that's been delivered - which can be time-consuming but I'm not taking any chances. Some would say I'm overreacting in a lot of ways, but at this point, I'd rather be super safe than sorry.

2. Daniel is working remotely from home. So that part, I love. Because I don't have to worry about him bringing any germs back home to us. But I also feel bad for him because he no longer has the privacy of his own office to do his work in peace. Our girls are constantly bugging him... especially when they don't get what they want from me, they think they can take it up with Daddy instead. Oh but they love it when he takes his breaks. Because that means they get to go outside for a minute and ride their scooters up and down our driveway.

3. Now that school's closed pretty much for the rest of the school year, that leaves me with the daunting task of homeschooling. And I gotta be honest here... I am NOT built to be a teacher. I can be a mom and teach my kids life lessons and daily living skills. But I seriously do not have the patience to teach anything on the academic level. Nope. I'm more of an Arts, Music, PE and Home Ec kinda teacher. So we'll see how this all pans out. I'm totally gonna just go with the flow on this new life and give myself grace because this is all new territory for me. For us all.

4. Ok, so raise your hand if this you, too... but my laundry load has tripled (feels like it) since we've been quarantined. It's like we've all been changing outfits 2-3 times a day. Maybe because I'm also just paranoid that we somehow have COVID-19 germs on our clothes from being outside all day. Yeah, maybe it's just me.

5. I can't not watch a show or movie now without thinking "omg, they're totally not practicing social distancing!" Maybe this one is JUST ME, but seriously though... I just can't seem to escape this new reality no matter how hard I try! 😂 😂 😂 😭 😭 😭

6. I get to spend good quality time with my family. I'm enjoying having Ella home (even though she was only gone 3 hours a day for pre-K) and watching them play in the yard. And being able to enjoy the little things in life. Like messin' with snapchat filters, perfecting our chalk art skills, and learning to groom our dog ourselves 😂.

In all seriousness, I am truly grateful for the simple fact that I GET to stay safe at home. With my family. Because I know that there are SO many who don't get to. There are people that are suffering and dying all over the world and my heart breaks to see the numbers continue to rise. And to all the healthcare and essential workers who put their lives at risk to fight this for us, they are the true heroes in this.

Stay safe, my friends 😘 and STAY HOME! And if you'd like to chime in on how quarantine life has been for you... feel free to comment below!

Tags: #quarantine #quarantinelife2020 #quarantinelife #momlife #momconfessions #momdiaries #stayathome #safeathome #covid19 #coronavirus

Is it bad that I entered the New Year NOT wanting to set specific goals for myself? 😂 The thought alone was just too overwhelming and straight up exhausting to me. No wonder it took me almost all of January to finally pinpoint exactly what it is I want to accomplish this year. I mean, it's the start of a whole new decade... so I feel like it's bad juju if I didn't come up with something to work towards.

So after thinkin' about it long and hard (and by long and hard, I mean about 5 minutes 😉), I have compiled a list of 5 things I want to work on this year. Some are goals that I've been working on for the last couple of years or so and I'm just expanding more on them...and some are ones that I have completely ignored altogether because I was either too busy, not disciplined enough, or just too lazy to work on. Yup, I said it. Because life, right?

Here's what I am gonna work on in 2020:

1. Carpe Diem - Motherhood Style

Seize the day. Seize the moments. Live each day with no regrets. Or try to, at least. I'm not talking' about jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping off a bridge or whatever it is people do to 'seize the day.' I'm talking about putting that phone down or letting the dishes pile up to sit and play on the floor with the little ones. We only get one chance at life. And I'm starting to fully realize that motherhood is only something you get to do once. I mean yeah, as mothers, we are told to "enjoy them, they're only little for so long" and we for sure have every intention of soaking it all in. But do we really?

I am a SAHM. And as a SAHM, there are days that are just SO long. Sometimes one or both kiddos are just super cranky for whatever reason. And I'm trying to get things done in between the crying, the "mommy I want this, mommy I want that", and the epic meltdowns. Days like these, I just can't wait for the day to end so I can get a break. It's completely normal to feel this way, I totally get it. And it can be difficult to want to "soak it all in" especially after a long and trying day. But now that Ella is almost 5 and Everly is not a baby anymore, and I see just how fast they're maturing, it really makes me sad that one day, they'll be all grown up and leaving the nest. They will never need/love/want us as much as they do during the baby/toddler years and I don't even want to think about that. My goal this year is to truly embrace the mom life chaos that I have been blessed with. Carpe diem'ing motherhood is all about not getting chores done if it means we get to cuddle a little longer. It's about putting the phone down (which is kinda hard to do when you're a blogger and content creator like me) and not worrying about capturing the memories on camera. Trust me, I am SO guilty of wanting to capture EVERY LITTLE THING they do. It's about letting them go to bed late because they wanted to read every single book they own for bedtime story (this is Everly all day long). At the end of the day, I will never regret doing the things that make them happy. Because their happiness makes ME happy.

2. Have More "ME" Time - more than just going to the gym

Life definitely changes once you have kiddos. Time is very limited to do anything that's out of the realm of mom-life. And it's not a bad thing! But I certainly want to have a good balance between tackling the responsibilities of motherhood while taking care of ME and MY needs. A healthy and happy mama and keeping our cup filled (whatever that may be, because it's different for every one) makes this 24/7 job better for all parties involved: mom, kids, spouse.... and then everyone else 😂. So I feel it is SO important to find something that seriously just sparks JOY in your life and spend some time doing it.

I didn't allow myself to have a lot of "me" time in the early years of motherhood but last year, I finally made it a priority to do that. I started going to the gym again. And just that little bit of time to just have to myself did so much for my well-being. I worked on that all year long, and even if I may have hurled myself off the bandwagon a few times, I managed to bring myself back to it and have been able to be somewhat consistent with it.

This year, I want to expand on the whole self-care thing and make the time to hang with friends sans kiddos. Most of my friends are moms and have been moms longer than I have. And, not gonna lie, I sometimes feel a bit envious of their "freedom" now that their kids aren't babies anymore. I've had mommy & me dates with a few of them over the years but now that my girls are older and a bit more independent, I feel like I can go out and do things without having to worry about being gone for too long. If you read my most recent post, I mentioned I went walking with a mom-friend of mine without my girls and it was so refreshing to have even just that little break. Now, don't think for a second that I am implying that having kids ruins your life... because that's not even close. I love my rugrats more than anything in the world. But I love my husband too and sometimes I really need a break from him 😝. Moms need breaks to recharge. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, I'm thinking' maybe a girls' night out. Nothing fancy or crazy. A simple dinner is always a winner, or going to one of those wine + painting things, or ooooooo we could KARAOKE! The sky's the limit, right? I'm totally fine with just coffee or lunch or even a froyo date. Just something where I get to connect with other moms who are in need of that girl-time. Because really... the ultimate goal with this one is to have a girls' trip to Las Vegas 😉😂 .

But yeah... if you got some fun ideas for this sort of thing, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!!!

3. Give My Blog More Love

For the past 2 years since I started That Plain Jane Life, I realize I have been putting all of my eggs into ONE basket. Instead of putting time and energy into publishing blog posts, I have been busy creating content for my Instagram account. The IG account that was meant to help me promote my blog. I got caught up in the whole insta-influencer life which, by the way, was not something I had anticipated.

I mean, I don't even like the title: influencer. It wasn't until I decided to take a little bit of a break from social media at the end of last year that I realized just how much I strayed from blogging about the things that I am most passionate about. And don't get me wrong, I love sharing my life on that specific platform. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and it has allowed me to meet & connect with other moms... I've actually made some great friendships! So yes, I have to admit, the insta-life has treated me very well. But at the end of the day, it's not my platform. Which means I don't have complete control and power over all the work that I put into growing my account on there. But my blog... this is mine. I get to do what I want on here and not have to worry about following rules that were set by someone else. So it only makes sense that this blog needs to be more of a priority than all the social media stuff. And I have SO many ideas! Can't wait to share them all with you! Don't worry, I still plan on doing thangs on IG, FB, Pinterest, etc.... so if you want to follow along, here are the links to all of my account...

My handles are:

Instagram: @thatplainjanelife

Facebook: That Plain Jane Life

Twitter: @MrsPeeden

Pinterest: That Plain Jane Life

4. Live A More Minimalist Lifestyle

I'm not tryin' to go HAM on this one, and I wanna say that we've been pretty minimalistic (is that the correct term for it? 🤷‍♀️ I feel like the grammar police might go crazy with this one), but I feel like I can totally do MORE. For the most part, we try to live that frugal life as much as possible. We haven't had cable in over 10 years (but we have the internet and smartphones so it's not like we really need cable anyway). We cut back A LOT on spending $$ on wardrobe especially fast-fashion (which isn't good for the environment) but I can't say that we don't ever buy any. Because, if I'm being completely honest, we live in California on one income and can't afford to buy only sustainable/eco-friendly stuff. But we try our best to limit what we buy. I haven't exactly adapted the whole "wardrobe capsule" idea, but I'm thinkin' I may need to give that a try one day. Call me a weirdo, but I love to declutter. Because I can't stand having crap all over the place. And I think I do a pretty good job at it, especially having lived a 1-bedroom lifestyle for the past almost-5 years. But like everything else, I feel like there's always room for improvement. Just overall, I'd like to be able to save more money by investing in quality, durable + multi-use items (big and small) so that we're not always having to buy things because they break or doesn't last long.

With that said... I'm totally NOT trying to be extreme with this goal. Because I don't know if I could really do it. So don't shame me when you see things like Valentine's Day decor vomit all over my IG feed (coming soon! 😆). I will say, that all the decor I buy for the holidays, are all decor I plan to use every holiday until I can't no more. But I'm definitely hoping to be more mindful before spending this year.

Which brings me to my FINAL goal for this year.


This is definitely a BIG goal of mine!!! We have been waiting years for the opportunity to buy a house of our own but the timing was never right financially - we've experienced layoffs and hardships, credit issues as a result of us getting laid off - just a lot of life-changing events that prevented us from achieving this goal for years. But this year, we are hoping to finally BUY one.

We are currently living with relatives and while it's not ideal, it's something we had to do when we decided to pick up our lives and relocate to Daniel's hometown. It's a decision we made based on his career and his career-goals. And when we chose not to renew our lease to the apartment we were renting and had zero luck finding anything within our price range, we were definitely fortunate enough to have family offer to let us stay with them till we found the right house.

So... I am hoping and praying that this year is THE year we finally become homeowners!

There ya have it. My goals for 2020... and possibly goals for the rest of my life 😆.

Have you set goals for 2020? Care to share any of them? How are you doing so far with your goals? Tell me all the things!!!

Tags: #newyearsresolutions #happynewyear #2020goals #goals #lifegoals #bloggoals #resolutions

Updated: Jan 27

When we finally announced to the world that we were pregnant for the first time, we were showered with so much love and excitement and the attention we got was a bit overwhelming but we loved everything about it. And then came all the unsolicited advice. Some were good, some were just annoyingly bad... but none really prepared me for what to really expect. I'm all about being positive in this thing called life but sometimes, ya just have to be REAL. And new parenthood is one of those things where I feel, you should be brutally honest with people especially when they solicit your advice. Because it's definitely NOT easy. And even though I had been warned that it is HARD... it would have been nice if people didn't try to sugar coat it. I would have preferred to know all the not-all-rainbows-and-unicorns details of what it was really gonna be like instead of the enjoy-every-minute-because-it-goes-so-fast stuff.

With all of that said... I have compiled a list of advice I wish I would have received before my life changed forever. And these are also pieces of advice I give to my expecting mother friends who have NO idea what's about to happen... and only when solicited, of course.

1. Be kind to yourself

You freakin' grew a baby AND pushed it out. Your body did a miraculous thing. It's going to take some time for your body to get back to a new normal. I say "new" normal because your body will never be the same. And it's not a bad thing! I had very unrealistic expectations of my body bouncing back because I was that fit chick who worked out all the way up until I gave birth and thought that my body would just go back to the way it was. And that mentality set me up for some major disappointment when I left the hospital lookin' like I was still 5 months pregnant. I never gave myself a break and felt the need to hurry up and get back into the gym as soon as I could. And looking back now, I feel like such a fool. So just be kind to your body. Be patient. And do things to take care of yourself - mind, body and soul.

2. You will go through an identity crisis... and will have to navigate motherhood trying to figure out your place in this new life. And you will miss the old you... but you'll realize that the new you is so much better.

I definitely struggled with this. A lot. Having Ella rocked my whole world and it was difficult for me to accept that my life would never be the same. I thought for sure, having Ella would be just like taking on another job (I've worked 2-3 jobs all at once before) and I'd adjust to that life easy peasy. But it's just not the case. Especially with me. I felt like I was going through an identity crisis. And I started to miss the life I had before baby. Having a baby changed EVERYTHING about who I was mentally AND physically. And I realized that I couldn't be who I used to be. The "old me" was pretty selfish - had a career and was ambitiously working hard on it and continuously striving for more, spent a ridiculous amount of time at the gym workin' on that Summer bod year round, and still had oodles and oodles of time to do a whole lotta nothin' even though I swore I was busy all the time. The "old me" was pretty awesome. But the "new me" is 100x better. To be honest, it took me some time to get to know the "new me" and to fully accept her for who she is...and while I do wish I had more time to do the things the "old me" enjoyed, I would not trade this mom life for the world.

3. Do NOT compare yourself to other moms

We are in the age of technology and social media. So it can be difficult not to get sucked into the comparison game when you see all the pretty pictures of moms with their newborns - you know the ones of them with their make-up on and hair all did lookin' so perfect and happy. While you're over here with leaky boobs and chapped nipples feelin' like a bus hit you and then reversed and ran you over 10x more. It's a difficult pill to swallow especially when you're a zombie and hormones are just ragin' through you like nobody's business. Part of you kinda knows that these pics are curated or staged but the majority of you just feels like that insta-mom totally has her shit together while you, on the other hand, does not. Yup, I've been there. And while I'm sure some moms have seen my pics and thought the same... we really just need to stop torturing ourselves with all that nonsense. Social media is a highlight reel of all the great moments... but every mother has their own struggles no different from our own so just don't even waste your time with that comparison game.

4. Admitting motherhood is hard or that you're not lovin' every second of it OUT LOUD does NOT mean you are ungrateful or that you don't love your baby... it means you're HUMAN.

There was a time, during the newborn haze, when Daniel and I were so completely exhausted and sleep deprived.... when we were up in the middle of the night for one of Ella's feedings and we were talking about our day and how hard it was. And I remember one of us saying "you think it's too late to drop her off at the fire station?" I honestly can't remember if it was me that said it or if it was Daniel because I was delirious at that point. But it made us laugh and it became a running joke between us especially on the hard days. The days when we felt overwhelmed and defeated. Of course we weren't serious. We would never give our babies up. But the early days of parenthood is probably the hardest. And if you're not allowed to joke, vent or complain about it, how are you supposed to survive?

5. Let people help you or don't be afraid to ask for help!

I was totally stubborn about this. After we came home from the hospital with Ella, Daniel waited on me like the supportive husband he is. He cooked my meals and brought them to me in bed, he cleaned and offered to take the baby so I could sleep, he did everything. And instead of letting him, I made a big stink about it and even took it as an insult. Because I had this stupid expectation that I needed to be super Mom right from the get go. When I ended up in the ER a week postpartum because I thought I was hemorrhaging, I had no choice but to slow down and let people help me. You really can't do it all. And it really is nice to let people do things for you especially when you've got a tiny little baby to keep alive. Plus your body is healing and you really should let it heal. This applies to any season of parenting! Not just the newborn stage. And you betta believe I took advantage of the help with Baby No. 2. Because, not sure if you experienced this, but people were more willing to help out with Baby No. 1 than with Baby No. 2.

6. Fed is best. And also, it's nobody's damn business if you're exclusively breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or formula feeding.

Okay so breastfeeding is HARD. And the mom culture these days is Breast is Best. Which doesn't seem so bad especially to those who are successful at it, but it definitely puts a lot of pressure on the women aren't quite as successful. My breastfeeding journey didn't go the way I had hoped. And it wasn't because I didn't try hard enough. I did everything right, I put in a lot of effort, and Ella latched on perfectly. But even still, she wasn't getting enough milk to gain the weight she needed because she'd always fall asleep at the breast before she got her fill of milk. Which then affected my milk supply. But because of the expectations of Breast is Best, when I was told I needed to supplement with formula, I was horrified and felt like a complete failure as a mom. I worked hard to try and bring my milk supply up with pumping around the clock IN ADDITION to nursing around the clock and the stress that caused me almost pushed me in to a depression that scared me to death. So I stopped the pumping madness and just decided to do both nursing and formula feeding.

7. Find your mom tribe

Because motherhood can get so very lonely! My friends and family either have older kids or have no kids at all. So going through the newborn phase was such a lonely experience for me. Almost every one in my life couldn't remember much about the baby days and couldn't relate to the things I was going through. And even those late night feedings when it's just you and baby up, your sleep-deprived thoughts consume you and it gets super depressing sometimes. So join a local mommy + me support group if you can. Or take advantage of the mom communities that exist on social media. There are so many other mamas going through the same exact season you are. So you are definitely NOT alone!

8. Your hubby/partner may be your rock, your ride-or-die, your PIC... but after kids? There will be times where you will question why you chose him to procreate with.

And it can (and will) happen more than once. In one day. But just like I talked about in Advice #4... admitting that does not make you love him less. It just means you really wish he had the boobs to nurse Baby so that you, too, can sleep through the night.

9. Happy Mom = Happy Life

Do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Whatever that may be. Go for a walk. Go to Starbucks and enjoy your favorite drink. Roam the aisles of Target. Get that mani/pedi. Just do something that makes you happy. I wish I had taken a lot more time for myself when I first had Ella. For some reason, I thought I didn't deserve a break. Because I'm supposed to be her mom first and foremost. But I learned that you can't take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself. So even if it's longer showers/baths at the end of the day or just taking a 15 minute walk outside.... just do it. You will feel SO much better afterwards.

10. Embrace the chaos because there IS light at the end of the tunnel!

Finally! Something positive after all the debbie downer emo advice! Motherhood is hard AF! The entire transition to new motherhood is so full of challenges and hormones and it's such a mind f-ck and nobody tells you these things!!! If someone would have given me any one of these tips... it would definitely have helped me get through those dark and lonely moments. I remember saying out loud to Daniel once "is this my life now?" because for some stupid reason, I never saw beyond the newborn stage. Obviously I wasn't thinkin' clearly.

What's the best parental advice you've been given? What's the worst? And what pieces of advice do you offer to new parents?

Tags: #motherhood #parenthood #thebump #parentingadvice #parentingtips #momlife #momdiaries #momconfessions #honestmotherhood

© 2018 by That Plain Jane Life. Created by the Husband.

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